Fresh and vibrant, New Zealand's cuisine has excellent reputation. Clooney ( pictured) is a thriving restaurant located in a former industrial building that exemplifies New Zealand's gastronomic scene. Following several years travelling around some of the worlds best restaurants, the owner created a unique place that would not be misplaced in New York's bustling Manhattan, or the chic city centres of London and Paris, but remains subtly local in its charm and decor. The cuisine is superb, a feast of flavours of various origins prepared and presented in the most creative style. Leather sofas designed specifically for the restaurant and unique see- through curtains give the place a discrete yet warm atmosphere, where focus is on culinary experience, with a wine list that would make many French restaurateurs envious. For further information visit www. clooney. co. nz.
lifeafloat New Zealand wines have become increasingly recognised over the last few decades, and the country exports 80% of its production around the world, with great success in the UK and US markets. Whilst the Marlborough region further south is already famous for its great Sauvignon Blanc - among other excellent wines - Waiheke Island, only 45 minutes away by boat from Auckland, is fast becoming another wine hotspot. A tiny island the size of Singapore, Waiheke focuses on high quality, bespoke production of white wines, as well as interesting attempts at the development of original red wines. The Cable Bay restaurant and winery ( this page and opposite page, top left) is a prime spot on the wine scene and offers a vineyard tour, with lunch amidst the vines, accompanied by samples of the local vintages. An all- encompassing experience, the restaurant lies in a stunning location amidst vines and olive trees overlooking the city of Auckland in the distance. Cable Bay also features exhibitions of famed local artists. The local entrepreneurs are passionate about their local produce and delight in sharing this with visitors. One such couple can be found at the nearby Destiny Bay winery. Having visited New Zealand's Waiheke Island, they fell in love with the country and people and relocated from the US West Coast to set up the Destiny Bay winery.